Feed on

The big picture is disgusting — the fact that the Obama administration is letting the big banks get away with grand-scale fraud and harassment in foreclosure proceedings against millions of desperate homeowners. But the individual stories, including that of Norman and Oriane Rousseau, are infuriating. Norman, as you may have read, killed himself two weeks ago, at the point when the couple’s long battle against Wells Fargo seemed lost:

From The Raw Story:

[The story] began in May 2009, when Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo, told the Rousseaus they had missed a mortgage payment on their home in Newbury Park, an hour outside Los Angeles.

Even though the Rousseaus had made the payment – and had the receipt to prove it – that kicked off a foreclosure process they were never able to escape, battling against the seemingly careless bureaucracy of a major American bank that eventually took their home…

…Wells Fargo still intends to evict Oriane, though it has temporarily suspended proceedings.

Read the whole story.

Man of constant sorrow

Union Station:

Helplessly hoping

I was at the WXPN studios the day this album arrived, and everyone was very excited:


Paul Fussell, 88. Author of the book “Class: A Guide Through the American Status System.”

Falling in and out of love

Pure Prairie League (featuring Vince Gill in his younger days):

Oh Atlanta

Alison Krauss and Union Station:

Build me up buttercup

The Foundations:

Defunding Planned Parenthood in PA

I am so sick of these goddamned people. And now, they’re going to do it to Pennsylvania:

A bill to defund Planned Parenthood will be introduced in the Pennsylvania state legislature this week.

The bill, like similar efforts in Texas and Arizona, will put the women’s health provider at the end of the list for any federal funding, according to the Huffington Post. But it isn’t even written by the Pennsylvania state legislature. Rather, the bill is an effort by the anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List:

[State Rep. Daryl] Metcalfe’s bill, the Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act, would put health care providers that offer abortion services at the bottom of the priority list for state funding. The anti-abortion activist group Susan B. Anthony List wrote the bill, which closely resembles the one Arizona lawmakers used to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this year.

Planned Parenthood clinics receive a substantial percentage of their money through state and federal government funding streams, including Medicaid and Titles V, X and XX. The clinics use the funds to offer breast cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, pap smears, maternity care and other medical services for low-income and uninsured patients.

Federal funding cannot be used for abortion services at Planned Parenthood. However, that funding is used for vital well woman care, particularly for low-income women, and women who live in rural areas and have few health care options.


If there was ever any doubt that the recently announced JPMorgan Chase “probe” was merely an early summer’s entertainment to keep the masses distracted, I’d say their hire of this former SEC chief to help them has cleared up that question. The SEC is notorious for its incestuous ties with Wall Street and their all-too-forgiving ways toward their former (and possibly future) employers. (For instance, JPMorgan’s general counsel Stephen Cutler was previously head of enforcement at the SEC.) Why, it’s almost like Capitol Hill!

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, has hired former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement chief William McLucas to help respond to regulatory probes of the firm’s $2 billion trading loss.

The lender retained law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, where McLucas is a partner, shortly after the bank disclosed the loss on May 10, said Kristin Lemkau, a spokeswoman for New York-based JPMorgan.

The probes began after JPMorgan traders in London built up positions in illiquid credit derivatives that were so large they distorted market prices and eventually led to what Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon called “self-inflicted” losses that may grow. That spurred reviews by the SEC, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Our focus right now is on whether the company’s public disclosure and financial reporting is accurate,” SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said today in congressional testimony. “The agencies collectively, including the criminal authorities, are working very hard to untangle what happened at the firm.”

The SEC is reviewing the accuracy and timing of JPMorgan’s disclosure of changes in how it calculates value-at-risk, or VaR, which shows how much it could lose from trading most days, Schapiro said. The bank changed its VaR model for the chief investment office during the first quarter without telling investors. The new model, which has since been scrapped, had cut the risk estimation almost in half, Dimon told investors May 10.

Austerians of the left

Why they do the greatest damage:

Progressive programs created the aspect of life we most enjoy and value as a people. They have proven to be spectacular successes. The people pushing austerity are the same people that hate progressive policies because their success falsifies their anti-government dogma. The austerian economists were the architects of the global financial crisis, the great depression of the European periphery, and the assault on the needy. They have proven wrong about every important issue. When moderates and progressives adopt the suicidal austerian policies of these architects of disaster they become the most destructive members of the austerian movement.

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